Tuesday, May 26, 2009

#75: Zing! Went the Strings of My Heart

Dear, when you smiled at me
I heard a melody
It haunted me from the start
Something inside of me
Started a symphony
Zing! Went the strings of my heart

When Burton Lane heard the eleven year-old Frances Gumm sing "Zing! Went The Strings of My Heart" during her sisters' act at the Paramount Theater in Hollywood, he knew he had found a star. She sang it again for the impatient MGM impresario Louis B. Mayer, who agreed. Indeed, Frances would become one of the biggest stars in Hollywood history -- soon after she changed her name to Judy Garland. Garland would go on to sing the James Hanley tune in the movie, Listen, Darling, in 1938, a year before The Wizard of Oz. Advance this YouTube clip to 2:30 to hear an angelic young Judy, or try the brassier version 25 years later. For an even more contemporary take, here's Rufus Wainwright's "Zing" at the London Palladium.

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